Point of Sale (PoS) operators risk N1 million to N10 million fine, as well as three months imprisonment should they collectively increase the price of their transactions.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera.
The threat from the Federal Government’s agency followed the decision of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) to fix new prices on July 17, 2023.
Prime Business Africa gathered from the statement that the collective price increase infringes on Section 127 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018.
Irukera warned that FCCPC won’t hesitate to apply the law on PoS operators caught fixing prices that are not determined by market forces.
“The Commission advises PoS operators that violation of an order of the Commission attracts additional consequences apart from the underlying illegal conduct that is the subject of the order such as up to N10,000,000 for corporate entities; and N1,000,000 and or a prison sentence of up to three months for individuals,” the statement reads.
To prevent the PoS operators from implementing the collective prices, FCCPC issued a cease and desist to members of AMMBAN, “Accordingly, the Commission, in escalating this in accordance with the FCCPA and ancillary instruments, has entered an Order & Notice (ONC) of the Commission to AMMBAN, persons identified as executives, members, and non-member PoS operators to Cease and Desist from conduct that constitutes an infringement of the law,” the commission stated.
Meanwhile, FCCPC warned that the cease and desist order also extends to PoS operators that are not members of AMMBAN, “In addition, some persons, such as non-AMMBAN members, may become subject to the ONC. Accordingly, the Commission has, and is by this again publicly disseminating the ONC. Members are however invited to consider sufficiency of service of the ONC under Section 158(4) of the FCCPA which deems such service on their association or executives as adequate and acceptable.”
In addition, while FCCPC said the Commission prefers not to disrupt the business and operations of small enterprises, the agency of the Federal Government said if it becomes necessary, it will “prohibit merchant services and privileges to PoS operators or AMMBAN members who persist in conduct that is inconsistent with law and economic efficiency,” the commission noted.